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June 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Deep Sea floated in Penn Cove, awaits dismantling in Seattle

The decrepit 140-foot fishing boat Deep Sea, which sank in Penn Cove after a fire May 13, has been raised to the surface and will be towed to Seattle to be dismantled when calm weather allows.

State local and federal agencies issued a joint statement Monday saying the boat will be towed once waves along the route from Whidbey Island to Seattle are forecast for heights of three feet or less.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for waves up to four feet.

Washington Department of Ecology and U.S. Coast Guard officials will decide when the stricken boat can safely be moved. Updates and details on the case are being posted on a Web site maintained by the Department of Ecology.

The state Health Department closed all shellfish harvesting in Penn Cove, one of the state’s most productive shellfish areas, on May 15. The closure will remain in effect until testing confirms shellfish from the area are safe to eat.

Meanwhile, environmental cleanup crews continued to remove oil from the water surrounding the boat. Some oil trapped in the hull when the vessel rested on its side on the bottom floated to the surface when cranes set the Deep Sea upright before raising it.

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